Customer service, a keen eye on trends, and great design are behind TKG Europe’s rise to become a leading branded golf products supplier
From a humble spare bedroom launch to becoming a market leader, TKG Europe is a success story driven by a passion for customer service.
In 2004, Glen Witheford struck out alone as the self-confessed ‘Golf Tee King’ and has gone on to conquer Europe – and thankfully simplify the company name.
In the early days, TKG Europe operated with neither premises nor decoration facilities, selling printed golf tees directly to golf professionals at clubs across the UK.
Fast forward nearly 14 years and Witheford is now managing director of a business with a design, sales and specialist operatives team, purpose-built factory, warehouse, offices, studio, games room and, at its core, an ever-expanding range of state-of-the-art design and print technology.
We started as a one-product company and relied on other suppliers to print and decorate for us,” says Witheford. “Now, our new 2018 brochure has more than 600 corporate golf items, 90% of which we decorate in-house at our east Yorkshire headquarters.”
Ongoing investment has been the key to the success of TKG Europe; investment in the latest printing machinery, investment in product design and innovation and investment in a team with a passion to deliver great customer service.
“We are only able to offer such uncompromised service because we have total control from the point of order, through proofing and manufacture to dispatch,” he says. “From very early on, my ethos was always to bring processes in-house wherever possible, so we can control the quality at each stage of every order.”
Although ‘customer service’ is at the forefront of Witheford’s business mantra, he also maintains that regularly refreshing the product range is vital for survival in the competitive world of branded merchandise.
This has obviously proved a winning formula for TKG Europe which has now become a preferred trade-only supplier and manufacturer of custom golf products working with hundreds of promotional companies throughout the UK and Europe.
In recent years, professional golfer Gary Watkinson joined the TKG team as UK sales development manager to add his sales and golfing expertise to the brand and build relationships with both long-standing and new clients.
The brand’s core products are the essential, practical items which golfers use on a daily basis such as golf towels, balls, divot tools and of course, TKG’s founding product, the humble golf tee.
TKG keeps a keen eye on market trends and responds accordingly. “There has been an increasing demand for well-finished, high quality, multi-item gift boxes,” says Watkinson. “More than half the products we currently sell are presented in some form of packaging and our 2017 best-seller was our range of luxury presentation boxes.”
TKG Europe is dedicated to meeting, and surpassing, the ever-increasing expectations of the corporate golf gift buyer. According to Witheford, clients now look for packaging quality that equals the quality of the golf products themselves.
“I relish the challenge of making a finished product that creates the impression that the branding is integral to the design and manufacture and not merely an
add-on,” he says. “Promotional merchandise is in its heyday and plays a pivotal role in any marketing budget, so we have to ensure our products are valuable keepsakes for the end user to successfully generate a positive and lasting message for the brand.”
For TKG Europe, 2017 was a record-breaking year, thanks to both new accounts and repeat business in equal measure. With significant ongoing investment in printing machinery, Glen is confident that it’s ‘onwards and upwards’ for TKG Europe in 2018 and beyond.